1

I just about understand color-management in the context of a single image file in Photoshop but unclear how it works when creating a multiple component item such as inDesign document.

If I specify the workingSpace for an inDesign document to be proPhotoRgb and I start creating text in the document I assumed they are using the proPhotoRgb profile. But if I then place an external image that uses sRgb profile does that image get converted to proPhotoRgb or left as sRgb.

Then if I export the document to pdf and select Colour Conversion to No Colour Conversion does the pdf comprise of an object with multiple separate color profiles for text and images or not ?

Conversely if I export the document to pdf and select Color Conversion to Convert to Destination Space and pick a CYMK profile is everything text and images converted so the pdf consists of a single profile ?

Side note:There is a curious warning when you select Convert to Destination regarding colours created within the application' I assume if you have a working space set for the document there is no issue.

Comments on Answer Below

If you choose to not convert, the images that were imported in InDesign won't be changed at all. And the elements in your InDesign should keep the InDesign profile/color space.

So that means you can have CMYK and RGB together, they'll remain this way. For the profiles, you'll have the option to not include them or convert to the destination profile. To my knowledge, you'll have one profile in your PDF or none at all

Isn't this a contradiction, i,e that the images arent converted to the Indesign profile, yet you can only have one profile in the PDF. To be clear InDesign is a temporary step for me to be able to create a pdf so its the final pdf (that gets sent to the printer company) that I most concerned about.

Additionally, you can also choose to "convert to destination (preserve numbers)". This will only convert the elements that have a different color space but will keep your original color recipe in your Indesign (eg. swatches) without changing them for example. So that's not a bad option.

I can see from your coloured images that this option appears to be better then the convert to destination option but isnt this just putting off the inevitable. If everything has one colour profile in the final pdf dont we need to convert it, and if we preserve numbers doesnt that mean the numbers (e.g R=123, G=234,B=234) are being kept the same even if converted to a new profile where those colours no longer have the same meaning in the new color space.

  • Would it be possible to try each one of these scenarios, and then extract the image file from the PDFs using a tool such as FileJuicer? You would then be able to place each image in a EXIF software or photoshop to analyse it – MicroMachine Nov 22 '15 at 8:08
  • It might be possible but I really hoping someone who understood inDesign better could just answer the question (i have a book on order) – Paul Taylor Nov 25 '15 at 8:36
0

If I then place an external image that uses sRgb profile does that image get converted to proPhotoRgb or left as sRgb?

The profile will render on screen the colors but will not convert the original imported file. At this point there won't be any physical change really done to the files you imported.

It could convert them when you export though, depending on the settings you choose.

If I export the document to pdf and select Colour Conversion to No Colour Conversion does the pdf comprise of an object with multiple separate color profiles for text and images or not?

If you choose to not convert, the images that were imported in InDesign won't be changed at all. And the elements in your InDesign should keep the InDesign profile/color space.

So that means you can have CMYK and RGB together, they'll remain this way. For the profiles, you'll have the option to not include them or convert to the destination profile. To my knowledge, you'll have one profile in your PDF or none at all. Note that your original files outside the PDF never get converted this way, in case it wasn't clear; to do this they need to be converted individually in Illustrator or Photoshop (or whatever software you use).

no color conversion indesign

If I export the document to pdf and select Color Conversion to Convert to Destination Space and pick a CYMK profile, is everything text and images converted so the pdf consists of a single profile?

Yes. It will convert everything including the imported images and what's in Indesign to the profile and color space you'll select.

One thing: Color profile and color space are 2 different things, and when you convert you also have the option of keeping the color profile or not, or choose another one. Your colors will be adjusted depending on the profile and color space you select.

Personally, I don't recommend you to use that kind of option because you lose a bit of control on the color output and final result. That's not a big deal from CMYK to RGB for example, but the opposite might give you some disappointing colors because RGB can really get dull when converted to CMYK. So the best is to always stick to the same color space and profiles when you work with many different images and vectors, or not profile at all but the same color space at least.

But if you're working on a huge document and you just want to be sure everything uses the same color space and profile, then yes it's a quick practical shortcut! For example, it can be practical if you prepare a printed book and want to also prepare a quick ebook version in RGB without having to convert all the images in Photoshop one by one.

Note that this kind of conversion can also be done after you've created your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro, in the Preflight options! And there's some good tips here.

convert to destination

Additionally, you can also choose to "convert to destination (preserve numbers)". This will only convert the elements that have a different color space but will keep your original color recipe in your Indesign (eg. swatches) without changing them for example. So that's not a bad option.

CONVERT TO DESTINATION BUT PRESERVE NUMBER

This is an example of what kind of results you could get using these output settings:

enter image description here

Side note: There is a curious warning when you select Convert to Destination regarding colours created within the application. I assume if you have a working space set for the document there is no issue.

You're right. It's telling you it's about to really modify your files!

enter image description here

If you aren't sure about something, you can always hover your mouse over each option and you'll see a little clue appearing on the bottom part of the output window! But I think in general, most designers prefer to simply convert their images from the start to the right color space and profile, and use the "no conversion" to avoid any issue. And it's better to work with standard profiles, not the ones you think look better to you. That's why you also need to make sure your monitor is well calibrated.


if you're working on a project that will be printed offset:

Forget about anything RGB. RGB is for web.

Use CMYK. Or grayscale and bitmap mode if you're working on a 1-color project. For the color profile you can ask your printer because this can be different. I use Swop.

  • firstly thankyou for providing such a detailed answer, but Im still not clear on a couple of points if you could take a look at my comments on your answer in the question that would be great. – Paul Taylor Dec 2 '15 at 11:29
  • The last part of this answer is generally true, but not necessarily so. If we’re talking about your InDesign working space, then yes—always use CMYK for print jobs. If we’re talking about converting images to CMYK before placing them, though, always check with the people who will be printing the project. If you have a large number of photos or scanned documents in RGB in your project, for instance, the printer may prefer converting them to their desired colour profile/space as part of their RIP process, rather than have you do it either manually or when exporting your PDF. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 2 '15 at 11:47
  • @JanusBahsJacquet It's true GOOD printers usually have way better conditions and equipment to do any kind of color management! It's really worth asking them, usually the designer can get the images back and insert them in their own layouts with the right profiles. I put "good" in uppercase because some printers don't care about that kind of quality control unfortunately. I don't know any offset printer doing this conversion for free though, unless you purchase a large amount of prints to compensate! That's where they make their money. – go-junta Dec 2 '15 at 12:24
  • Very true—the conversion is usually part of the price you pay for the print job. When time allows, I prefer having the printer manage all illustrations and then inserting the corrected images in the InDesign file as well; but even just exporting to PDF with No colour conversion and then letting the printer convert from the exported PDF can work quite well, too (I’m currently doing a project with a very tight schedule and about 110 high-res scannings of Egyptian papyri, taking up about 12.5 GB of space—that would be a nightmare to send to the printers beforehand). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 2 '15 at 12:27
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Indeed, it's good you mention this option. People got used to sending PDF print-ready but that's not the only option, and it used to be "normal" to simply send the editable files (eg. InDesign)! For that kind of project, it's easier for the printer to adjust the images and simply update them in the file, and RIP from that file. But I see 12.5gb might require you to bring an external HD or a few memory sticks to the printer... it's a bit long to upload/download on FTP! ;) – go-junta Dec 2 '15 at 12:40
-2

David Blatner is to go-to expert for color & InDesign.

You may want to check out his articles & videos:

  • This answer isn't well written , however it does contain some very useful links such as indesignsecrets.com/indesign-ignores-cmyk-profiles.php. Unfortunately it seems the colour options in inDesign are incredibly (and to my mind unneccessarily) complicated making it very difficult to make the correct decisions. – Paul Taylor Dec 2 '15 at 14:39
  • Apologies. There were no answers at the time and I was hoping this might help you get started. – Justin Putney Dec 3 '15 at 16:56
  • No need to apologise I was saying just that it was useful and I uprated this answers, it others who have downrated it. – Paul Taylor Dec 3 '15 at 18:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.